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Study pharmacy at Otago

Te ako i te Mātau Taka Rongoā ki Ōtākou

Pharmacy student obtaining a blood sample from her finger @2x

Become the medicines expert most trusted by patients and healthcare professionals

Pharmacists are the healthcare professionals patients see most often. For this reason, we teach at the intersection of science and community.

We seek to improve the health of our communities, and to educate other health professionals – so they can make better healthcare decisions.

Pharmacy is about improving health and well-being. It’s about expertise in medicines and vaccines. And it’s about patients, whānau, and community.

This is full-scope pharmacy practice.

We are a full-scope pharmacy school. We’re on the leading edge, globally, of pharmacy education.

Dean Carlo Marra speaks about pharmacy to Health Sciences First Year students

New Zealand’s most innovative and passionate school

We run the only university pharmacy clinic in New Zealand and Australia.

Our SimPHARM™ training software, developed at Otago, is used around the world.

And our innovative Virtual Professional Practice Laboratory lets you practice your skills before you even leave the building.

Our lecturers and professors have genuinely world-leading expertise, and receive amazing feedback from students.

Pharmacy students working in the Virtual Professional Practice laboratory

A culture in good health

We’re especially proud of our diverse and inclusive culture. Our students come from all over Aotearoa, the Pacific, Asia, and across the world.

Most join us after Health Sciences First Year (HSFY), the first year of the pharmacy degree. But many students have different education, work, or life experiences they bring to class.

We celebrate this diversity and learn from each other. This cultural intelligence helps us better serve our patients, and make a greater contribution to the pharmacy profession.

Also important to our school culture is Te Puna Kaika, New Zealand’s first Māori pharmacy students’ association; and New Zealand Pharmacy Students’ Association Otago. Te Puna Kaika and NZAPS-O organise academic, cultural, and social activities, plus exclusive discounts at local businesses.

When you join the School of Pharmacy, we’ll work with Te Puna Kaika and NZAPS-O to welcome you at our White Coat Ceremony. It’s a tradition that symbolises your transition from pre-clinical study, to being a future healthcare professional.

Pharmacist using a mannequin to demonstrate how to give an injection

A cutting-edge curriculum

When it comes to full-scope pharmacy, we’re all in. We’ll teach you how to assess prescriptions and recommend better options, give life-saving vaccines, and be a trusted adviser for other healthcare professionals.

You’ll get plenty of hands-on time in our Virtual Professional Practice Laboratory, where you’ll use the latest procedures and technologies.

You’ll get you real-life experience at our pharmacy clinic – the only university pharmacy clinic in New Zealand and Australia.

We’ll teach you how to assess pharmacology and toxicology research, so you can stay up-to-date and make informed decisions for your patients.

We’ll take you to Ōtākou Marae, where you learn more about te ao Māori / the Māori world. And we’ll teach you business, so you can choose to run your own pharmacy in future.

We nurture and inspire leadership in health. You can’t get an education like this anywhere else.

Students sitting on the grass talking

He Rau Kawakawa – the home of hauora

He Rau Kawakawa is the School of Pharmacy’s name in te reo Māori. And here at He Rau Kawakawa, our unique curriculum respects Indigenous values and promotes cultural health and well-being.

Learn more about hauora and more about student life at He Rau Kawakawa:

New pharmacy students at the 2020 White Coat Ceremony

How to apply for entry to pharmacy